Archive for September, 2012

Outdoor Decor That Will Not Damage Your Home’s Exterior

Saturday, September 8th, 2012
Tiki Hut Tropical Resort Metal Wall Sculpture

Tiki Hut Tropical Resort Metal Wall Sculpture

If you are worried about damaging your home’s exterior, but still want to have outdoor decorations, there are some great options available for you.  Whether you are looking to add festive fall decor to the front of your stucco home, or decorate your deck for a luau party, the tips and tricks below will help you add personality to your home without doing any damage.  While adding permanent hooks and fasteners is always an option, temporary or non-invasive hooks always pose less of a damage risk.

Temporary Hooks

Depending on your home’s exterior, the type of hooks you hang can range from simple stick-on varieties to over-the-door holders.  For some exteriors, especially those made of acrylic base material designed to look like stucco, drilling hooks into the surface is a recipe for mold and water damage disaster.  These types of exteriors may also not work well with hooks that simply stick to the wall, as they are highly textured.  In cases such as this, consider hanging your outdoor decor on over-the-door wreath hooks, or mounting screws on porch posts or deck rails instead of on the home’s exterior.  While these options may be more temporary in nature, they offer a good, safe alternative to drilling into brick, stone, siding and other exterior surfaces.

Fleet of Sailing Ships Nautical Metal Wall Art

Fleet of Sailing Ships Nautical Metal Wall Art

Prop It

There is nothing that says that all outdoor decor must be of the hanging variety.  Instead of investing in large, heavy pieces of wall art, choose large planters with mums for the fall or a colorful wreath for the door.  Cornstalks are a great example of an outdoor decor item that would be perfect to prop against the  wall instead of hanging.  Other decor items that would work as non-hanging decorations may include, long planters to line the edge of the patio, table lantern decorations that match the theme of the space and small flags that can be placed in planters.  Try to think beyond just the wall space when designing your outdoor decor.

Plants

Big, potted palms and ferns make excellent outdoor decor.  They provide greenery and visual interest without doing any damage to the home’s exterior.  If topiary or dwarf evergreens are more in line with the decor of your home, use them instead and plant either side of the front door or plant them in elevated planters or urns.  Do not overlook the beauty of adding a variety of small pots with colorful daisies or delicate violets to tables and windowsills.

Pine Mountain Buck Deer Metal Wall Sculpture

Pine Mountain Buck Deer Metal Wall Sculpture

Lighting

Consider stringing small lights around the porch rails or in the small decorative pine trees that are next to the front door.  They will add a great deal of personality to the space, provide excellent ambiance and will do nothing to harm the home’s exterior.  A few well-placed spotlights would also work well to accent the home at night.  In addition to being visually appealing, the added lighting also has safety benefits that could help to protect the home.

Outdoor decor does not need to be based solely on hanging decorations.  Think about other options for using the space wisely and do not be afraid to try something new.  With some creative thinking and some interesting decorations, you can make your home’s exterior take on new life and appeal.

Window Decals That Make Your Home Safer

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Traditional Barn Star Metal Wall Sculpture

Traditional Barn Star Metal Wall Sculpture

Homeowners know all about the locks and chains that are needed on their doors to keep their home safe, but they overlook some very simple safety tips that can provide additional safety.  Window decals of all sorts are available to be used in home windows that may deter thefts and even protect your glass from being shattered.  While the ideas below cannot guarantee that your home will never be burglarized or broken into, they can help deter such actions from occurring.

Alarm Company Decals

If a potential burglar sees window decals advertising that your home is protected by a security company, he is much more likely to move on to a neighbor’s home where no such signs are displayed.  If your home is protected and monitored by a security alarm company, proudly display their signs in your front windows, as well as other easily accessible points.  While you may think the decals look gaudy and unattractive, they are there to help protect your home from being ransacked and vandalized, so it is worth the risk.  If your home is not protected by an alarm company, you can also get decals made that advertise a fake alarm company.  Many decal companies offer these surfaces and you can designate the design and wording, or go with one that they have pre-designed.  It may seem like a hassle, but an inexpensive decal could mean the difference in a safe home.

Window Tint and Protective Shatter Proof Film

While these may not seem like window decals, they actually are.  Protective shatter proof film is a large window decal that fits the size and shape of your window and helps to keep the glass from shattering inwards in case of break.  This is especially beneficial for easily accessible windows on the ground floor, basement and even children’s bedroom windows.  In addition to helping to protect the interior of the home, it also strengthens the glass and makes it more shatter resistant.  Window tint is slightly different, in that its main purpose is to keep prying eyes out.  Just like on car windows, it filters out the light and makes it more difficult to see inside.  This not only makes it harder for people to see what is inside the home, but also cuts down on sun glare and furniture fading.

Fire Decals

Most fire departments will happily give out fire safety decals to place on your windows.  The most common ones include those that indicate where children are sleeping, and how many pets are in the house.  This lets firefighters know where they need to get to first in case of a structural fire at night.  Most of these decals are reflective and should be placed prominently in the window to ensure that they can be seen.  The pet indicator decals are typically available from animal shelters and large pet supply stores, as well.

If you are looking for ways to keep your home safe, do not discount the use of window decals.  They can make a thief keep on going to the next house and lead firefighters to a child’s bedroom in case of a nighttime fire.  They are inexpensive, and while not the most attractive window decorations, they are, by far, the most important ones.

Correct Hangers for Wall Mirrors

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

When you find the perfect wall mirror it can transform a room from drab to fabulous in no time flat.  The only problem is that figuring out the right hanger for the mirror can be challenging.  Without the right tools, the mirror can quickly come crashing down and leave you with more mess than you can imagine.  While not all mirrors are the same, the tips below will help guide you in selecting the wall mounting hooks that will work best with your mirror.

Antiquities in Motion Contemporary Wall Hanging

Antiquities in Motion Contemporary Wall Hanging

Size and Weight


Before you rush off to the home improvement shop or craft supply store for picture hanging hooks, take a good, long look at the mirror in front of you.  Turn it over and see if there are any pre-installed hooks or clasps.  If the mirror is a flat panel without a frame, the hanging materials required will be different from those needed for a framed mirror.  The size of the mirror will play a large part in how many hooks are needed and the weight rating for them.  To get the weight of your mirror, use your bathroom scale and weigh yourself before holding it; pick it up and weigh yourself again, and then subtract the difference.  While the weight may vary ever so slightly from the actual weight, you will have a good general idea about the weight rating that you will need for the hooks and brackets.

Santa Fe Dreams Handcrafted Metal Wall Mirror

Santa Fe Dreams Handcrafted Metal Wall Mirror

Where on the Wall?


Not only will you need to figure out where you are going to hang this lovely new wall decoration, but you will also need to determine what the wall is made from.  Plaster, drywall or paneling will each require specific hangers and hardware for safely hanging the wall mirror.  If the mirror is exceptionally heavy, it is a good idea to locate a stud in the wall and hang it from there.  Not only will this provide additional support for the mirror, but it will also keep the wall from breaking apart.  The last thing you want is for your new mirror to shatter as it pulls off a large chunk of your plaster wall and smashes to the floor.

Colorful Blooms Handcrafted Metal Wall Mirror

Colorful Blooms Handcrafted Metal Wall Mirror

Types of Hangers


There are a few different types of mirror hangers.  For flat panel mirrors there are mirror clips that clip on the outer edge of the mirror itself.  They screw into the wall and are designed specifically for holding mirrors in place.  They come in many different styles and designs which makes them versatile enough to use with just about any mirror.  For framed mirrors, a great option is to use wire that has been attached or threaded through D-hooks or eye hooks.  When properly secured, wire offers incredible strength and durability.  It is important to make sure that the hooks on the frame are just as securely attached as the wire itself.  To add extra support, consider installing an angle iron below the bottom edge of the frame to take some of the weight off the top hooks.

A correctly installed mirror will rest safely and securely on any wall.  Take the time to plan out where and how the mirror will be installed before rushing to complete the job.  A well executed installation will help create a room that is only enhanced by the mirror’s presence.